"Drone wall" stretching from Norway to Poland a very ambitious project - interior minister

  • 2024-05-27
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The "drone wall" proposed by the Estonian interior minister, which would be built by European countries bordering Russia from Norway to Poland, is a very ambitious project that will also require financial investments, Latvian Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis (New Unity) said in an interview with TV3 on Monday.

The creation of the "drone wall", discussed at last week's meeting of interior ministers, would mean that drones cover the entire length of the border with Russia between the countries involved in the project, monitoring movements along the border and anticipating one step ahead, and warning each other of developments on the other side of the border, said Kozlovskis.

According to the minister, implementation of the project would help in the fight against illegal migration, smuggling and various provocations that could be launched by Russia. "This is a very ambitious proposal," said Kozlovskis. "Clearly, calculations will have to be made, and in the end it will boil down to be money again," he said.

Nevertheless, the "drone wall" idea is generally a commendable project, but "we just have to see how we can develop it in synchrony".

As reported, regional countries have agreed to create a "drone wall" to protect their external borders using unmanned aerial vehicles, Lithuanian Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite said last Friday.

She made the remarks after a meeting on Friday in Latvia with her counterparts from the other two Baltic states, Poland, Finland and Norway.

"This is a completely new thing, a drone wall stretching from Norway to Poland, and the goal is to use drones and other technologies to protect our borders. Not only with physical infrastructure, surveillance systems, but also with drones and other technologies, which would allow us to protect against provocations from unfriendly countries and to prevent smuggling," said Bilotaite.

Now, the countries will assess what "homework" they need to do and then, with the help of experts, national authorities will draw up a plan to implement the "drone wall". Bilotaite could not say when the idea would be implemented, saying that the "drone wall" could be created using EU funds.

Earlier, as part of their two-day visit to Latvia, Estonia's Interior Minister Lauri Laanemets and Deputy Director General of the Police and Border Guard Board Veiko Kommusaar briefed the interior ministers of neighboring countries about a plan to create a capability to detect and bring down drones on the borders with Russia and Belarus and over major cities.

"As a venture of this scale, it's unique. Drone surveillance and anti-drone capability is crucial both for deterrence and for countering the influence activities of our eastern neighbor," the minister said.

Laanemets said that, unfortunately, we must be increasingly prepared for situations where Russia will try to disrupt our lives using drones, as it is becoming more and more difficult to physically access Estonian territory.